Jury seated in Oakland Raiders' lawsuit against NFL

Tuesday, March 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury of eight men and four women was seated Monday in the Oakland Raiders' $1 billion lawsuit accusing the National Football League of forcing the team out of Los Angeles.

The team, which successfully sued the NFL for the right to move from Oakland to Southern California in 1982 only to move back 13 years later, is suing the league now for allegedly costing it the larger Los Angeles market.

It a statement released after jury selection, the team said it will press for $1 billion in compensatory damages plus an undisclosed amount of punitive damages.

Opening statements were to begin Tuesday.

The lawsuit accuses the NFL of interfering with the Raiders' plan to move from the Los Angeles Coliseum to a proposed new stadium in nearby Inglewood in 1995. It was at that point that the Raiders returned to Oakland.

The league contends that not only did it not force the Raiders out of the Los Angeles area, it actually tried to help the team move to the proposed stadium adjacent to the Hollywood Park horse-race track.

Raiders' attorney Joseph M. Alioto has said he plans to call NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as his first witness. Tagliabue's testimony is expected to last several days.

The attorney said some team owners also will be called to testify.

Among the owners expected to take the witness stand are Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers and Carmen Policy of the Cleveland Browns, who served with Denver's Pat Bowlen on a special NFL stadium committee in 1995.